- Lot Number 53919
- Title (English) Ohel David (Ohel Dawid): Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London
- Title (Hebrew) אהל דוד
- Note First Edition
- Author David Solomon Sassoon
- City London
- Publisher Oxford University Press
- Publication Date 1932
- Estimated Price - Low 300
- Estimated Price - High 600
- Item # 2489790
- End Date
- Start Date
First edition, 2 volumes (lxiii, 1112, 276, 8 pages) 73 facsimiles, 270:180 mm., wide margins, usual light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original blue cloth over boards..
T.P.: (Ohel Dawid): Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London
Sassoon travelled extensively with the sole intent of collecting Hebrew books and manuscripts which he later catalogued in a two-volume book, entitled, Ohel David. The importance of his private collection of books and manuscripts cannot be overestimated, since it affords scholars the opportunity to examine some twenty-four distinct liturgical rites used by the different Jewish communities of the nineteenth century: Aleppo, Ashkenazi, Egyptian, Italian, North African (Morocco), Tunis, Tlemcen, Karaite, Sefardi (Spanish), Bene Israel, Cochin, Turkish, Yemen, among others.
Sassoon originally owned some 412 manuscripts and twenty incunables, the rarest of which he retrieved from Baghdad. By 1914, the Sassoon collection numbered 500 manuscripts. Between 1914 and 1932, when the Catalogue was published, the manuscripts grew to 1,220, of which 1,153 are fully described in the Catalogue. When David and his mother visited the Holy Land in 1925, he acquired the Decisions of Rabbi Isaiah ben Mali di Trani the Elder (thirteenth century) on Hullin (MS No. 702, Cat. p. 697). One of the more important manuscripts obtained by him is Sefer Halakhot Pesuḳot of Rabbi Yehudai Gaon, a work that he obtained from a Jew in Yemen in 1911, but written in Babylon or Persia in the ninth or tenth century. Sassoon also obtained in Yemen a hand-written copy of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, written in Spain in the fourteenth century (1397). Of the sixteen liturgical works (siddurim) that Sassoon obtained in Yemen, the earliest dates back to the early 16th-century (1531 CE). A study of these manuscripts reveal that the liturgy used by the Jews of Yemen underwent changes after Western influences penetrated into the Peninsula.